Local nonprofit hosts Art of Policing Exhibition on Thursday

David Li, News Contributor

A nonprofit organization started by a Oregon State University writing instructor is hosting an art exhibition to address misinformation about the OSU armed police force

This art exhibition will take place at the Interzone coffee shop on NW Monroe Avenue from Dec. 1-7. Attendance is free, and registration is not required. The opening and closing times for the exhibition corresponds to the opening hours of Interzone.

Karina Camacho, an instructor at OSU, started her own nonprofit called “Every 10 Weeks” sometime last year as a way to spread ideas.

Every ten weeks, her students in her technical writing class act as a technical writing team identifying a problem, solution, action plan and budget to put into an event like this art exhibit. It’s not always the same theme or event, as every term the students change and different ideas are made.

“Every ten weeks, they’ll come up with a different issue that impacts them in some way and plan an event to disseminate the information to deal with that issue,” says Camacho.

Students can submit poetry or visual art to be presented at the exhibition until Dec. 21, which may be extended to Dec. 27. The only requirements are that it can be hung on a wall in some way, and that it must not contain violence. Further information is on the website for the nonprofit organization.

Information pamphlets and fact sheets will be distributed at the event and on the website. The art pieces presented during the event will also be posted on the website. Camacho encourages people to communicate with them through email and engage in the blog on the website, which will go up before the event starts.

According to Camacho, the event is meant to foster open conversation between people and find ways to welcome the new police force as a new community while staying safe.

“We want people to express how they feel about that because there has been so much police brutality happening,” Camacho said. “But at the same time, we’re hoping that by opening avenues of communication and seeing each other as human beings, that wont happen. There’ll be more of a relationship.”

According to Camacho, her class originally wanted to deal with racism, but switched to policing after seeing a video of a person getting arrested for going the wrong way in a bike lane. 

After doing more research and speaking with the chief of police at OSU, Camacho’s class realized that there were many misconceptions about the police among the student body.

Among these misconceptions is that OSU’s new armed police force is separate from the department of public safety on campus. Since the police force was established during the pandemic, Camacho’s class felt that there wasn’t a chance to have an open discussion about the new police department. 

“We’re just trying to get the facts out so people can decide for themselves how they feel about the uniformed police force,” Camacho said. “We’re trying to get every fact that we can, as objectively as we can out to students and everybody: faculty, staff administrators, everyone.”